The BaitUllah also called Khana-Ka’aba was first built by Hazrat Adam (On Him Be Peace) and then Almighty Allah rewarded it as place of worship to all Muslims who were the decedents of Hazrat Ibrahim (On Him Be Peace). When Hazrat Ibrahim (On Him Be Peace) left his second wife “Hazrat Haajra” and “Hazrat Ismael (On Them Be Peace)” on this deserted place, he prayed to Almight Allah, “O’ my lord make this place alive by your worshipers”. At that time Hazrat Ismael (On Him Be Peace) was merely an infant. As soon as he began to cry of thirst, Hazrat Haajra ran between two hills, near Ka’aba, called “Safa and Marwah” to look for a caravan passing by and ask them for a bowl of water. While Hazrat Hajra ran desperately for water, Hazrat Ismael’s (On Him Be Peace) consistent kicking on the surface for water brought about a spring of water with the blessings of Allah, of which the source is still unknown and since then, fresh drinkable water comes out unstopped. This holy water is called “Aab -e- Zam Zam” and the two hills between which Hazrat Hajra ran is now a part of Hajj and Umrah, called “Sa’i” or “Sa’y”. Later, on the revelation of Allah’s will, Hazrat Ibrahim (On Him Be Peace) was asked to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismael in the name of Allah, as a test of his loyalty to his creator, which Harzat Ibrahim accepted. However, the moment Hazrat Ibrahim put the knife on Hazrat Ismael’s throat, Almighty Allah not only saved Hazrat Ismael by sending a sheep to be sacrificed instead of him, He also accepted the deed. Not only this, Almighty Allah adored this loyalty of His man to the extent that he made sacrificing once a year every Zill-Hajj, the last month in the Islamic calendar, compulsory on all Muslims who can afford it and a mandatory ritual of Performing Hajj for all Muslims.
There are three types of Hajj: Ifrad, Qiran and Tamatu’.
In this type of Hajj, Umrah is combined with Hajj. A person first performs Umrah and then releases his Ihram. The Ihram is then again put on to perform Hajj on 8th of Zil-Hajj.
In Ifrad Hajj, Ihram is put on to perform for the purpose of Hajj only and not for the intention of Umrah. Sacrificing of animals are not obligatory in Hajj Ifrad.
Qiran is similar to Tamatu’ however person does not release his Ihram after performing Umrah and in the same condition he performs Hajj. Qiran is Arabic word which means to bring two things together. Those who bring animals for sacrifice they do not release ihram until they perform animal sacrifice and for them Hajj Qiran is must.
Almighty Allah said in Quran: “The months of Hajj are fixed and pre-defined thus he who makes plan to perform Hajj during these months must refrain from evil, disobedience of Allah and annoyance during his Hajj”.
Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has told us many rewards of Hajj on a number of occasions. Once Prophet (P.B.U.H) was asked “What is the best deed?” he replied “The best deed is to believe in Allah and His Prophet (P.B.U.H). Then again was asked “After that, what is the best deed?” Prophet (P.B.U.H) replied “To perform Jihad for Allah”. Then again was asked “After that?” Prophet (P.B.U.H) replied “Hajj Mabroor” which means that Hajj which is performed with wholeheartedly for the Allah’s will.
When leaving for Hajj:
On 8th of Zil-Hajj, Hajis take Ghusal/Complete bath according to Islamic teachings or if not possible, make ablution and then put on the Ihram. Male’s Ihram consists of two white, unstitched and clean covering sheets. First is called “Azaar” and the second one which is used to cover the body is called “Radaa”. With these two sheets, a haji should cover his body with one sheet while other should be used as covering lower part of the body.
“O’ Allah, I intend to perform Hajj, make this obligation easy for me and be pleased with my deeds. “
After making the intending/neyat for Hajj, say “Labbaik” three times in a loud voice and offer two Raka’ats prayers “Tahayattul Hajj”. This starts your duties of Hajj. From now on, you must avoid all what is prohibited while in Ihram, as discussed in Hajj Guidelines. After putting on Ihram, perform one “Tawaaf” as nafal. Beside this, you should also perform Tawaaf-e-Ziarat of “Sa’I” although it is better to perform when you come from Mina for “Tawaaf-e-Ziarat” however for your convenience it can also be done earlier. Those Hujaaj in Ihram, who have done Tawaaf-e-Ziarat in Tawaaf-e-Qadoom they are not needed to put on their Ihram again and perform “Sa’i” of Tawaaf-Ziarat.
Females Ihram for Hajj:
It is not necessary for females to particularly put on special Ihram. They can wear any dress, which is simple and can cover whole body according to Islamic dress code. Do prefer to wear gloves on hands. Those females who are not hyegenic or are Na-pak, must perform ritual bath or ablution and make intending of Hajj by putting on Ihram on their place of stay. They should offer Sa’i of Tawaaf-e-Ziarat after performing Hajj with Tawaaf-e-Ziarat. They should reach at “Mina” before Zohar because Prophet (P.B.U.H) has offered five prayers in “Mina” before leaving for “Arafaat”.